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more time, again, because the secretary's comments we're truncated. thanks for joining me. i'll be back live at 8:00 eastern time tonight, 3:00 a.m. here in kiev for our international viewers. our coverage of the crisis in the ukraine continues right now on "the lead" with jake tapper. jake? as tensions ratchet up in the ukraine, the u.s. and russia are now deploying a tactic they had not yet attempted -- actually talking to each other face to face. jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead -- america's top diplomat, john kerry, meeting with his russian counterpart for the first time face to face since russian boots hit the ground in ukrainian territory. one way or another, this could be a turning point in the international standoff over ukraine. the olympics lead -- stop me if this sounds familiar, the white house condemns the russians after they invade a
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sovereign nation. not ukraine. georgia back in 2008. is president obama's response that different from george w. bush's at that point p. also politics, argue about an issue long enough and sooner or later someone brings up the nazis. hillary clinton comparing putin to adolf hitler. did he go too far? good afternoon, everyone. i'm jake tapper. the word lead, for days now every time that red phone rang the russians have seemingly been checking their caller i.d. and saying it's the americans again, let it go to voice mail. literally, lots of unreturned phone calls between u.s. and russian dips. that changed a short time ago with the highest level diplomatic talks we've witnessed since the crisis began. secretary of state john kerry meeting with his counterpart sergey lavrov this afternoon. from the way kerry later
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described it the main weapon the u.s. is using against the russians is shame. >> russia's violation of ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity as actually united the world in support of the ukrainian people. russia can now choose to de-escalate this situation, and we are committed to working with russia. together with our friends and allies in an effort to provide a way for this entire situation to find the road to deescalation. >> kerry said that all signs have agreed that a dialogue is the best way to move forward. the u.s. wants to get russia to the table to talk with ukraine's interim government which russia doesn't recognize. but that did not happen today. russia maintains that ukraine's ousted president is the country's true leader. before meeting with kerry, lavrov repeated the assertion that vladimir putin made yesterday, that the troops in
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ukraine's crimean peninsula are not actually russians at all but instead members of local self-defense groups. that came as a surprise to many people with eyes and/or ears because they sure look like russian troops firing warning shots at hundreds of ukrainian soldiers attempting to reenter an air base on crimea that the russians have seized. so far this is the only known instance of shots fired between the two groups, but there are forces such as these in the streets of crimea's regional capital patrolling with no identification. today the administration said that the u.s. cannot yet prove that these forces are russian. >> it's pretty clear that they're russian troops. >> i think it's clear, but general dempsey, what evidence do we have. we don't have any evidence as yet. i think evidence could likely become available over time. >> just as an fyi, several of those troops have told reporters that they are russian.
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meanwhile, nato is cutting back its ties with russia, suspending its first joint mission to escort a u.s. ship as part of efforts to disarm syria. nato says forget about any more meetings with the russians at least for now. the crucial meeting between kerry and lavrov took place around the same time the u.n. envoy to ukraine was forced to end his mission in crimea at gunpoint. armed men threatened him according to the u.n., forced him to hole up in a coffee shop, a reporter from iwas in that shop and tweeted out this photograph shortly before police escorted him to the airport. anna coren in crimea, give us more details about what happened with this envoy. >> reporter: jake, we don't know exactly what triggered this confrontation, but we understand that robert serrie's car was surrounded by at least 15 men, some of them armed. they told him he had to go straight to the airport.
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he refused. these local militia tried to get into his car. he managed to somehow get out. he fled into a coffee shop. he was there with an itv reporter james mates, who was tweeting what was going on. these men continued to surround the building. after some time he decided as to alleviate pressure to leave the situation, basically to quit his post as u.n. special envoy to ukraine and dee part the country. so he is en route to istanbul as we speak. he believes that this will help de-escalate the situation. jake, it just goes to show how tense the situation is and how unpredictable the situation is here in crimea. ana coren, thank you so much. stay staf. the house foreign affairs committee is holding a hearing tomorrow on ukraine and could vote after a resolution for sanctions against russia, although that resolution is more a symbolic gesture, nonbinding. the entire house could also vote
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on the $1 billion in loan guarantees to ukraine that secretary of state john kerry announced earlier this week. joining me to discuss this is a member of the foreign affairs committee in the house, ileana ros-lehtinen of florida. good to see you. >> thank you, jake. >> we heard from john kerry. he said he'd rather be in the position they're in today than where they were yesterday. are you seeing progress in some sort of resolution? i have to admit it's escaping me. >> well, it depends on what your definition of progress is because if we're going to just talk the talk and not walk the walk, that's not progress at all. we've got to dial back the rhetoric unless this administration is really going to follow through on its bluster. one of the things that i think we should do, we must do, is add names to the list. this is a bill we passed and became law last year named after one of the anti-corruption activists who was beaten to death in a russian jail for exposing corruption. and it names and shames those
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human rights violators in russia. it freezes their assets, and it will fine any companies that do business with human rights violators. we can adapt this to the situation that russia is taking in ukraine, especially in crimea, to say that these armed thugs are not part of the russian army it doesn't even pass the smile test. local defense forces, they are part of the russian army. if they're unified with violators, which it looks like they are, they should be placed on this list. we should be talking about possibly freezing their assets, blocking their property, making sure that they can't enter the united states. there's a lot more that we can do before we talk about aggressive action or any military action. >> congresswoman, russia today threatened to seize the assets of any company belonging to -- from a country that is imposing sanctions on them. are you at all concerned that the retaliatory efforts by
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russia would hurt byes in the u.s., businesses in europe? >> well, the truth is that these u.s. businesses are not the ones that are human rights violators. what we would be doing in the united states is hurting the human rights violators and those who do business with them. i think that kind of aggressive act by putin against u.s. businesses that are not related to this crisis in ukraine, that is purely a punitive action not related to the situation at hand. so i think that putin is putting us to the test. are we going to back up our words with actions or is this going to be a situation like syria where the president said this is a red line, the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated, we will do limited air strikes and then he pulled back on that. what are we doing with russia? are we threatening with a lot of action that then we won't fulfill, and we have now putin taking us up on our words and
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saying well, we will declare these prohibitions on u.s. businesses. but that is not what the u.s. is saying. we're talking about troop, human rights violators. he's talking act just retaliating against u.s. businesses that have nothing to do with ukraine. >> congresswoman, in retrospect, was it a mistake for the u.s. to have not done more after russia invaded georgia in 2008? as you know, there was a lot of talk, but ultimately russia stayed in those two breakaway republics. ultimately russia stayed and kept that territory. in retrospect, was it a mistake for the u.s. to basically go back to the situation as it was before the -- >> i think standing now where we are and looking back on that situation, yes, we should have done more. just like we had situations in iran when the disdents were standing up and we turned the other way. just like in syria when the opposition was clear that they were the good guys, that we should have helped out more. but it's hindsight.
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at the moment, you don't know when you're pushing too hard and when you're escalating rather than toning down the rhetoric and trying to get a diplomatic accord. but putin has really put us to the test. let's see what this administration is willing to do. but i hope that we don't talk a big game and then just play small ball. >> congresswoman illeana roeana ros-lehtin ros-lehtinen, thanks so much. >> thank you, jake. coming up, she made headlines comparing vladimir putin to adolf hitler. what is hillary clinton saying today? she'll speaking live now and we'll have that next. as john kerry tries to convince allies in europe to go along with the plan for sanctions does the u.s. risk isolating itself? i'll ask the state department spokeswoman. honestly? i wanted a smartphone that shoots great video.
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discussion about our changing world and the challenges facing our nation. there's a lot to talk about, obviously. but i want to spend a few minutes on a particular challenge here at home that is directly relevant to the students here and to -- >> that was hillary clinton speaking live at ucla. she started her remarks with comments and observations about russia and the crisis in the ukraine. the real headline, of course, came last night when she compared russia's leader to a dictator responsible for the slaughter of more than 6 million people during a private fund-raising event in southern california. there last night former secretary of state hillary clinton reportedly drew parallels between russian president vladimir putin's ukraine strategy and the moves before world war ii of adolf hitler. take a listen. >> so where are we right now? well, today putin basically said in a long press conference that oh, you know, all i want to do is protect the rights of the
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minorities, namely russian speakers, and he's been on a campaign to get everybody who has any russian connection that want to retire russian military in crimea, he's given them all russian passports. now if this sounds familiar, it's what hitler did back in the '30s. all the germans that were, you know -- the ethnic germans, the germans by ancestry who were in places like czechoslovakia and romania and other places, you know, hitler kept saying that ear not being treated right, i must go and protect my people. and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous. now, here's where i think we are. i think pew ten has stopped the large military exercises on the border, but remember, he still has thousands of russian troops already in crimea. he controls crimea. they have occupied crimea. and i think there's where the negotiations will start. john kerry is in kiev today.
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to meet with nato in brussels. everybody is hoping there will be a negotiation but a negotiation that respects ukraine and doesn't ratify a reoccupation by russia of crimea. so it's a real nail-biter right now. but nobody wants to up the rhetoric. everybody wants to cool it in order to try to find a diplomatic solution. and that's what we should be trying to do. >> let's bring in cnn senior political correspondent brianna keilar. brianna, we've been getting some reaction from high-profile republicans to clinton's remarks. not exactly what you might expect. arizona senator john mccain a vocal critic of clinton's handling of the benghazi terrorist attack as well as other things she did as secretary of state. he tweeted today, "she's right on this comparison." marco rubio agreed with clint clinton's take saying there are similarities between putin and hitler's approach. no surprise i suppose she's more
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candid when she's not a camera there than when there is a camera there. are you surprised with reactions? >> from republicans? >> yes. >> not really because you've heard some of them saying the same thing. i think what's interesting is i'm hearing some of the same things from democrats and republicans. they're saying, you know, this was inartful, but -- >> the hitler comparison. >> exactly. one democrat i spoke to said basically you never really want to drop the "h" bomb because she has a nuanced argument and i've heard no one say that it's wrong. but you bring up hitler and nazi germany and it sort of steals the show where from what it is she's trying to communicate. on the other hand, talking with some democrats they're saying, you know, this is her showing awareness that she knows that putin -- and she knew before. and we just heard her in her remarks at ucla saying as i said when i was secretary of state. she's been getting a lot of flak for the reset under the time when she was at the helm at the
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department of state, and some have said this is her trying to say, you know, i knew he was a bad guy, i didn't trust him, but at the same time i was dealing with mthe other, but this is he trying to distance herself maybe not from the obama administration, although i heard one say that, but from the criticism that the obama administration has been naive that she was naive in that reset e. this is her sort of saying no, i know full well the threat that putin really has and does make. >> and to be precise, she wasn't comparing putin and hitler per se. she was comparing the pretext for invasion, what hitler did in europe and what putin did, saying ethnic germans, ethnic russians who were said to need protection. >> absolutely. what you've seen putin in crimea saying we need to protect these russians and she was sort of drawing the comparison between the rationale that hitler used
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in sort of bringing some germans out and also in protecting them when he was looking to expand his borders beyond germany. >> brianna keilar, thank you so much. we'll continue to watch that speech that hillary clinton is giving at ucla and if she's asked more about these relevant topics we'll bring that to you live. coming up next, as the tense standoff continues in the ukraine, the u.s. is increasing its presence in surrounding countries. so what's the next move? plus, if you're having deja vu listening to president obama respond to putin, maybe it's because you have heard much of it before except last time some of those same lines were coming from president bush. >> i learned about hard work --
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in response to russian incursion into ukrainian territory, chuck hagel told the senate armed services committee today that the u.s. is beefing up its presence in the region. >> the defense department is pursuing measures to support our allies including stepping up joint training through our aviation detachment in poland.
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it's an area they visited a few weeks ago. and augmenting our participation in nato's air policing mission on the ball tick pentic peninsu. >> will that rat it will russians? is it intended to? retired uggs army general james spider marx. spider, thanks for being here. we heard hagel talk about stepping up joint training in poland, air patrols over the baltics. is that intended for russians? >> no. what that is intended to do is bolster the confidence of our allies and our friends to make sure they know we're standing by and paying attention. that's the intended recipient. >> there was a heated exchange during hagel's testimony, a few, actually. john mccain asked whether u.s. intelligence indicated russia would would invade before the invasion. play some of that. >> the fact is, mr. secretary, it was not predicted by our intelligence and that's already been well-known, which is
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another massive failure because of our misreading, total misreading of the intentions of vladimir putin. >> i guess intelligence missed the entire collapse of the soviet union. missing this isn't that big a deal in comparison. but how could u.s. intelligence not see this coming? >> well, i think the issue became tactical warning. that's not kind of an arcane topic. >> what does that mean? >> that means the russians had forces that were exercising north of ukraine, and this was a very large exercise, but it was declared and we were watching it. suddenly you have forces that come across and they're now in crimea. they did it by way of air assault. that means helicopter assault. those are airborne troops. and they did it by land, just kind of drove through there, because there is routine passage from russia through ukraine into crimea. >> because they have bases there. >> got to get to sevastopol. absolutely. all of a sudden they don't leave
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and the number of troops have increased. >> but there was this vacuum because yanukovych had fled. >> absolutely. we should have been able to pick that up and get ahead of on a tactical level that invasion that occurred in crimea. >> now, one of the things -- this hearing that hagel and the joint chiefs were at was about their proposed budget for the military, which shrinks the military's budget considerably. how do you think this incident, this crisis in ukraine, will impact that debate over the size of the defense budget? >> that's a great question. i hope that the united states, that this administration, is paying attention to what's going on in crimea and is learning appropriate lessons, that this is informing some critical decisions. i'm not saying that it is. i think there is a department of defense budget, it's moving forward, will shrink the army to numbers that predate world war ii, puts ut at increased risk, number of major regional conflict, our ability to respond is now down, yet we're looking
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at a progressive and predictable activity by the russians into their sphere of influence. this is a sovereign country invading another country, and we are now going to decrease the size of our military. this is a repeat of containment. this is containment version two. and that is something we have to pay attention to. last time we had containment we had a very sizable, significant army. >> we'll talk more about the proposed military budge net the coming weeks. general marks, thanks for being here. we appreciate it. this just in -- the obama administration making yet another change to the president's signature measure which it once called settled law. obamacare, of course, i'm talking about. moments ago the administration announced that insurers can keep customers on policies even if they don't completely comply with the standards for obamacare for two more years. you'll remember that many americans got cancellation letters from their insurers after sign-ups beegan because their policies did not fit the government's criteria. in many views they were junk policies. this move could prevent that
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from happening again just before this year's midterm elections. up next, as intense meetings in paris today wrapped up with no clear resolution to the crisis, what can the west do to rein in putin? anything? what does an apron have to do with car insurance? an apron is hard work. an apron is pride in what you do. an apron is not quitting until you've made something a little better. what does an apron have to do with car insurance? for us, everything.
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excedrin ends headaches fast. in fact for some, relief starts in just 15 minutes. wow, my headache is gone. not gonna happen. excedrin. headache. gone. wealthcom back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. secretary of state john kerry spoke a short while ago from paris about the progress or lack thereof in talks with his russian counterpart sergey lavrov. let's just say that kerry set the bar low. >> i don't think any of us had an anticipation in coming here at this moment in this atmosphere of heightened tension and confrontation that we were suddenly going to resolve that here this afternoon. >> but he said they have some ideas they can bring to their
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respective bosses, obama and putin. can today's efforts be described as progress or status quo? joining me is state department spokeswoman jen saki. nice to see you. the ukrainian and foreign ministers were in the same building today and did not meet. does that not suggest that secretary kerry's efforts today on the ukraine were something of a swing and a miss? >> as i'm sure this will come as no surprise, i completely disagree with that. look, secretary kerry is in paris because he is there for a conference on lebanon but he's also there to engage with european counterparts, to coordinate our steps moving forward, and yes, he had a lengthy meeting with foreign minister lavrov. do we expect this to be solved in a day? absolutely not. but there are steps that can be taken, an off ramp for russia, secretary kerry laid that out today for minister lavrov. if they don't take that off ramp we have a range of options and there will be consequences. >> the range of options that you
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discuss requires the e.u., the european union, to be on board with what the united states wants to do in terms of specific sanctions and other diplomatic efforts to isolate russia. former secretary of defense bob gates gave an interview this morning and he seemed skeptical about getting allies on board. let me play what he said. >> i'm skeptical that the europeans will get behind a set of serious sanctions. okay? that's one of the risks for the president if he pushes too far and the united states get taos far out in front and the europeans -- he looks behind him and none of the europeans are there, then we risk being the ones isolated here. so i'm not optimistic about how this is going to turn out, quite frankly. >> jen, what's the status of our allies, the united states allies, particularly germany and the uk? we know president obama spoke with prime minister cameron just a short while ago. >> and secretary kerry spoke with foreign minister steinmeier today as well. part of what secretary kerry is
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doing on the ground today is engaging and discussing with his countpars about what steps we're considering, what steps they may be considering and how we coordinate that. there's no question that being unified and taking steps together is the best path forward. but we feel, and we've been pretty clear in this, that we are going to consider taking additional steps in terms of sanctions. we'll see what happens over the next couple days in terms of consultations with our e.u. counterparts. >> there any word that germany and the uk, which have expressed in different ways a reluctance to get on board with sanctions? is there any movement on that? have they decided that they want to do something but they're just not where the u.s. is? or are they still at no sanctions at all. >> well, there is an agreement that we are at a critical point and that sending a strong message using all the political and economic levers we can pull is essential. so in terms of what that will manifest in, we'll see what happens over the next 24 hours. but that is what the discussion
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is about on the ground right now. >> sounds like a very diplomatic and spinny way of saying that nothing has been agreed upon yet. >> listen, i wouldn't underestimate, jake. there are discussions among these foreign ministers, and if you look at what the foreign secretary said, a range of foreign officials have said, they are clear about how unacceptable they find the actions of the russians and they have been clear they're prepared to take steps. >> what about this off ramp option that you keep talking about and others in the administration keep talking about? apparently chancellor merkel of germany discussed this with president obama. is russia willing to have international observers in ukraine instead of russian troops? >> well, we'll see. you know, today there was some trouble. the international observers had some trouble getting in. they're going to try again tomorrow as i understand it. and the clearest sign that the russians consent that they want minority rights to be protected is to allow these observers in. so now it's a question of their rhetoric matching with their
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actions. it's not matching. and what they'll do in the next 24 hours. >> as you know, a u.n. envoy in crimea was accosted today by armed men. he's expected to take a flight out of the area late they are evening. that doesn't sound like deescalation to me. >> my understanding is there have been plans, and the u.n. is the appropriate place for this, to return and continue to play a role. this conflict on the ground is not ending in the next 24 hours. we're all working together with a fierce urgency in the international community to take steps and the u.n. remains an important part of that process. >> jen psaki, thank you. >> thank you, dave. coming up, two different administrations with nearly identical responses to putin's military aggression. why the pass from conservatives in 2008 when it was george w. bush and the backlash now? and drama this the house. public shouting about irs abuses today with one democrat calling out the un-american, quote,
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welcome back to "the lead." earlier we mentioned former secretary of state hillary clinton compared the actions of russia and ukraine to adolf hitler and the nazis in the 1930s to europe at a private fund-raiser. moments ago speaking at ucla she sought to clarify those comments. take a listen. >> well, it's a moment of real challenge. and, you know, there are different ways to structure your response to such challenges. there's not one right way and everything else is wrong, but it does require some deft maneuvering which is certainly what i know the administration is trying to do. what i said yesterday is that the claims by president putin and other russians, that they had to go into crimea and maybe further into eastern ukraine because they had to protect the russian minorities. and that is reminiscent of
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claims that were made back in the 1930s when germany, under the nazis, kept talking about how they had to protect german minorities in poland and che czechoslovakia and elsewhere throughout europe. so i just want everybody to have a little historic perspective. i'm not making a comparison certainly, but i am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before. >> let's bring in susan glasser, editor for politico magazine and co-author of "kremlin rising: vladimir putin's russia." susan, secretary of state hillary clinton would not have made those remarks. ex-secretary of state hillary clinton apparently did. >> well, it's never super diplomatic to compare anyone in global politics especially the russians to the germans and
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world war ii era so it's not a particularly politic thing to someday. comparisons to hitler are pretty tox nick the political atmosphere, which is why we saw her immediately trying to clarify them. >> right. of course millions of russians died fighting hitler's army, but she was not really criticized. in fact, a lot of republicans sald they agree with her. >> a lot of this going on. a lot of this putin is acting like hitler going around. so probably a lot of republicans actually agree with her. it's part of their narrative, which is that president obama's weakness has enticed putin to take these steps. so, yeah, they're comfortable with this. she might not be if she has to deal with this in january of 2017. >> she had this to say about vladimir putin's tough-guy persona. >> as for president putin, i know we are dealing with a tough guy with thin skin. i've had a lot of experience not only with him but people like him but in particular president putin, aened i know that his
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political vision is of a greater russia. >> susan, you literally wrote a book about vladimir putin. is he thin skinned. you know, i think he's a guy who can hold a grudge. and remember that this is somebody who told us that the breakup of the soviet union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century so he's got a long memory and he's clearly now acting to do something about it. crimea, after all, is a part of what rugs would consider something valuable that they lost with the breakup of the soviet union. and so he seems to be acting out of a story. but hillary clinton, i think it is important that these statements, while, you know, kind of eye popping on the one hand, on the other hand i think if you listen to people inside the obama administration, even as secretary of state in their internal conversations, i get the sense that she was always pretty clear eyed about vladimir putin. the russians definitely perceived her to be pretty hard edged when it came to them. >> stay right there. i want your feedback on something else. this piece that we're about to run, the president has been
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hammered by republicans for his response to this continuing crisis in the ukraine. but history looms over this conflict. one could argue that the parallels between the obama administration's response now and the bush administration's stance back in 2008 during putin's invasion of the country of georgia actually shows some striking similarities. >> reporter: this is what the russian incursion into crimea in the ukraine looks like this week. >> we are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the russian federation inside of ukraine. >> reporter: this is what the russian incurrings into georgia looked like in 2008. >> i've just received an update from my national security team on the situation in georgia. >> reporter: the situations were different in many ways, of course. putin was prime minister of russia then, not president, though he was widely regarded to have been calling the shots. but in both cases russia sent troops into another sovereign country of former soviet socialist republic upsetting an
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american president who had tried to improve relations. this week republicans slammed president obama's response to the crisis. >> -- always believed that this administration was incredibly naive about putin. >> our lack of a concise and clear foreign policy has destabilized parts of the world. >> we have an indecisive president that invites aggression. >> obama and bush are quite different but in 2008 their responses to russia's belligerence are not that unique. >> john kerry will be traveling to kiev to indicate our support for the ukrainian people. >> secretary of state condoleezza rice is there. she's conferring with president shackish vili and expressing america's whole hearted support for georgia's democracy. >> the steps russia has taken are a violation of ukraine's sovereignty, ukraine's territorial sbintegrity. >> continuing to stand bee hind
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democracy, continue to assist georgia's independence and territorial integrity be respected. >> reporter: back then conservatives largely exexcused bush. charles krauthammer on fox in 2008. >> obviously it's beyond our control. the russians are advancing. there's nothing that will stop them. we're not going to go to war over georgia. >> here's krauthammer on "special report with bret baier" this week. >> they should take everything off the table. what if there's a full-scale invasion to kiev? you going to do nothing? >> conversely on "this week" democrat tom daschle said this type of crisis was precisely the reason why then senator obama's brand of leadership was needed. >> what kind of attention would -- >> well, he called early on for a military action plan for nato working with georgia to try to deal with these issues preemptively, try to deal with them in a much more aggressive way up front. >> senator daschle's hopes notwithstanding, president obama's more collaborative
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report does not seem to have changed the putin dynamic much i think it's fair to say. susan, it is remarkable to listen to the president saying the same exact words after these different excursions. >> i think it's important to remember that american foreign policy generally does not change that much from administration to trags. just like russia has certain national interests, so does the united states. so of course we're going to say that. what's really striking is you have to remember this is russia's backyard. these are countries that were not only part of the soviet union, directly border on russia, in reality what all the punditry obscures is that we're almost certainly not going to engage in any military action in any of these countries. >> earlier on the show, olivier, congresswoman ileana ros-lehtinen from florida said in retrospect it was probably a mistake the u.s. didn't take a more forceful approach after the invasion into georgia. russia is still there in those
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two breakaway republics. >> that's right. there was a real reverse to business as usual after the crisis. i was going back to my own work in 2008 and i found something interesting, susan rice, the campaign adviser to barack obama, now national security advisor, saying that this should trigger a full-on review of all our relations with russia, bilateral relations and multilateral. so it's interesting before the reset there was apparently the rethink. >> interesting. susan, i looked at some of the transcripts also. so many pundits viewed this through the prism because it was just three mos before the presidential election of obama versus mccain and there really wasn't a lot of talk of george w. bush at all. that might be one of the key reasons why it's different today. >> well, that's right. remember that bush was winding down his tenure in office, the events show clearly when he consulted with advisers not a single one thought they should consider military action. publicly it was in the throes of
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the presidential campaign and really about, you know, bush having invaded iraq and afghanistan, really having limited tools in his tool kit, would he change our approach after november of that year. i think it's important, too, senator mccain is out there being critical of president obama now. he's been a vocal supporter of the ukrainian democracy movement. he flew there to be on the stage during the protests. but there's a big thing on foreign policy. the muscular interventionist wing of the republican party is increasingly outnumbered even within the gop these days. >> george f. will now with fox, then with abc, was critical of outbound during that same rather. he's one of the few i could find who was consistent saying he didn't think the bush approach to putin was the right one because he peered into putin's soul and trusted the man. there was a real difference between mccain and bush foreign
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policy at that point, 2008. >> there was. what there wasn't was a big difference between mccain and candidate obama. after the first couple -- >> bush and -- >> mccain and obama 2008. after the first couple days their policies really aligned a lot more closely on georgia. as susan pointed out, at that time bush was on the sidelines, the more tempting weapon was to go after his handling of the iraq war. that's why bush skated through '08 without that much criticism and why barack obama today is a magnet for criticism. he still has a lot of time in the oval office. republicans looking to get a good position in midterms or in 2016 he makes a nice target. >> one of the lessons, susan, it doesn't matter what the approach is of the president. putin's going to do what he's going to do. >> i'm glad you made that point because in the end it's about putin. secretary clinton, people may pe debate her points but this is an action that wasn't putin looking at obama in the eye. this was putin op technical analystally seizing an entire
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chunk of a neighboring country. >> thank you so much. up next, they cut his mike but that didn't stop the shouting of a u.s. congressman.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in politics, it may be one of the few times anything on c-span has felt remotely like something you might see on bravo. a heated exchange during a hearing that was supposed to put all the spotlight on an ex-irs official and whether the agency intentionally targeted conservative groups seeking at that time-exempt status. look what happened when darrell issa cut the meeting short despite okays from a
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high-ranking democrat on his committee. >> may i ask my question, state my statement? >> you're all free to leave, we've adjourned, but the gentleman may ask his question. ? thank you very much. i have one procedural question and it goes to trying to get the information you just asked. >> what is your question e? >> let me say what i have to say. i've listened to you for the last 15 or 20 minutes. let me say what i have to say. i have one procedural -- >> you're released. you may go. >> but first i would like to use my time to make some brief points. for the past year the central republican accusation in this investigation -- >> we're adjourned. close it down. >> issa says he adjourned the meeting early because he was infuriated that ex-irs manager low is lerner refused to testify about whether the irs was politically motivated to scrutinize conservative groups. >> my counsel has advised me i
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have not waived my constitutional rights under the fifth amendment and on his advice i will decline to answer any question on the subject matter of this hearing. >> as you recall, democrats in the obama administration have rejected the idea that tea party groups were intentionally targeted, noting that some liberal groups also received extra scrutiny from the irs. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper 3 i turn you over the wolf blitzer in "the situation room." wolf? jake, thanks very much. a u.n. envoy threatened and blockaded by a group of armed militia men, forced to leave crimea. secretary of state kerry meets with counterpars from ukraine and russia and says all involved will try to resolve the crisis through dialogue. and what is vladimir putin really thinking? i'll speak with someone who got to know him. president obama's former national security adviser tom donlon will join me live this hour. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."

The Lead With Jake Tapper
CNN March 5, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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